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RBS closures: North-east MP David Duguid hits out at ‘no action’ claims

David Duguid, MP for Banff and Buchan.
David Duguid, MP for Banff and Buchan.

A north-east MP has hit back at claims he has been “silent” over the closure of two banks.

Banff and District SNP councillor Glen Reynolds had accused Banff and Buchan Conservative member David Duguid of a lack of action.

This follows the Royal Bank of Scotland unveiling controversial proposals to shut the branches in Banff and Turriff, with campaigns to save them launched in both towns.

But Mr Duguid has accused Mr Reynolds and his party of colleagues of creating a “myth of silence” over the battle to give the facilities a future.

He said: “The SNP seem desperate to create a myth of silence of Scottish Conservatives.

“Reynolds and his colleagues are having a great time having photos taken with their protest banner outside the banks.

“I have been repeating my request for constituents to contact me with specific concerns as RBS customers, while the SNP use the potential suffering of customers as a cynical source of political point scoring against the UK Government.

“My Scottish Conservative colleagues and I at Westminster are meeting with Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay MP next week to discuss the whole issue.“

Mr Reynolds has been keen to voice his opposition to any closure of RBS in Banff and earlier this week unveiled plans to buy shares in the lender so he could attend its annual general meeting in Edinburgh.

He has also been involved with setting up a petition and held a protest march against it.

He said: “We need to be clear about a course of action. I am surprised the local Westminster MP in Banff has been lacking in providing this.

“His silence in much of this local campaign has been deafening.”

However, Mr Duguid added: “I received an email from Gillian Martin MSP between Christmas and New Year asking if I was going to be meeting with Mr Barclay to discuss the issue.

“This was perhaps another attempt at indicating my ‘deafening silence’, possibly assuming I wouldn’t be on my email over festive period.

“However, I did respond on the same day informing her of our scheduled meeting.”

Royal Bank of Scotland have said their branch in Banff will close in May, with Turriff following just weeks later.

The company have blamed the closures on a drop in customers and an increase in people using online services.

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